Disturbing the Devil

“…they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.” (Nehemiah 2:10)

The world will never understand why the Christian cares so much for God’s people. But every true believer is driven by an inward longing to be serviceable to the saints. We become wired this way at the new birth. This longing, if you will, is standard equipment that comes with a new heart from the Lord. To the world, the church is a nuisance at best, and a pestilence at worst. But to the Christian she is the city of the great King, the joy of the whole earth, the perfection of beauty, the vineyard of the Lord, the very bride of Christ Himself. And thus the Christian wants to do her good.

Such was the case of Nehemiah with respect to Jerusalem. His heart was broken when her walls were broken. The needy and shameful estate of her inhabitants burdened his holy soul. Thus he “sat down and wept and mourned for many days (Nehemiah 1:4).” He could not enjoy the comforts of his outwardly exalted estate while knowing his brethren were suffering in Jerusalem. God heard his prayers, and gave him opportunity to act. Thus, with the king’s permission and God’s protection, he came “to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.”

So it was with our Lord Jesus Christ. He could not leave His people in the misery of their sin any longer. Thus God sent Him. “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son (Galatians 4:4).” When we, His creatures, were not seeking Him…He came and sought us. “I have come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).” When we could do nothing for ourselves; dead in the blackness of our sin, He came and “delivered us from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13).” None has ever done so much for the good of the church as the Lord Jesus Christ. With His own blood He bought her (Acts 20:28). He, above all, is the One who seeks “the well-being of the children of Israel.”

Christian – what about you and I? Are we doing all we can to promote the peace and prosperity of the church of God? Are we seeking “the well-being of the children of Israel?” Are you disturbing the devil by your efforts to build up your fellow believers and serve the saints? Sanballat and Tobiah “were deeply disturbed.” Nothing so annoys the enemy of our souls as a humble, prayerful, servant-hearted child of the living God. Oh the clamor we cause among the spiritual hosts of wickedness when we set about to bless the brethren!

Every little thing done for God’s church and His children pleases the Lord and disturbs the devil. Even a cup of cold water to a thirsty saint is remembered and recorded in the courts of heaven above (Matthew 10:42). Oh let us seek to be servants of one another’s souls. Let us be “last of all, and servant of all (Mark 9:35).” Make the welfare of others our priority. “Let no one seek his own, be each one the other’s well-being (1 Corinthians 10:24).” Be a Barnabus, a son of encouragement, to God’s people. “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another (Romans 14:19).” Thus by God’s grace we will do as Nehemiah did, and as Christ did, and “seek the well-being of the children of Israel.”

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